“As President Donald Trump pushes U.S. companies to make more products in the U.S., firms like ETWater and Tesla, which rely heavily on automation, illustrate that it can be done in some industries,” Marisa Kendall writes for The Mercury News. “Since winning the election, Trump has doubled down on his campaign promise to tax companies that make products overseas and ship them to the U.S., meeting with tech and auto executives last week to talk tariffs. Last week, the White House announced a new Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, which will tap tech leaders, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell. Trump has also promised to ease regulations in the U.S. as an incentive for companies to bring production here.”

“‘The question everyone seems to be asking is: Will the iPhones come back?’ said Andy Tsay, a business professor at Santa Clara University who specializes in global manufacturing,” Kendall writes. “Trump has pressured Apple CEO Tim Cook to make iPhones here, but the smartphone manufacturing industry already is entrenched in China.

U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump

Everything from the companies that make smartphone components to the technicians who repair the factory machines is there, Tsay said, and moving that massive ecosystem to the U.S. would be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Some of that cost would be passed on to consumers. The price of a $749 iPhone 6s, for example, would increase between $30 and $40 if Apple assembled the product closer to its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, according to a report by the MIT Technology Review. If the phone’s components were also made in the U.S., the price likely would go up by $100.”

“Taiwanese Foxconn, which makes iPhones and other electronics, is reportedly considering spending more than $7 billion to open a display-making plant in the U.S.,” Kendall writes. “Chinese factories also tend to be less productive, while U.S. plants rely more on automation and require fewer human workers. At Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory, for example, which moved into an old Toyota plant in 2010, a combination of robots and skilled technicians and engineers replaced many of the blue-collar labourers who used to build Toyotas there. Tesla says it employs more than 6,000 people at the factory, including former workers who were retrained.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

The robots will come eventually. There are too many benefits. They don’t get tired. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t jump off roofs. They don’t have tubs o’ lard lying about them in one-fat-ass plays. Etc. — MacDailyNews, December 5, 2014

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Apple iPhone production in the U.S.is actually straightforward and not expensive – November 24, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
Could President Trump be the catalyst for an all-American iPhone? – November 18, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
President Trump’s Made-in-America hurdle: Asia – November 16, 2016
Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China – October 5, 2016
Apple supplier Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots – May 25, 2016
Foxconn robots better, but still not precise enough to assemble Apple iPhones – December 5, 2014
Foxconn CEO disappointed with current-gen iPhone-assembling robots; next-gen ‘Foxbots’ in the works – September 22, 2014
Foxconn to deploy ‘Foxbot’ robots for iPhone assembly – July 7, 2014
Why Foxconn’s iPhone robots could create American jobs – February 2, 2014
Apple dives deeper into designing and inventing robots, other manufacturing tech – November 22, 2013
Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs – December 11, 2012
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011